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Bucs QB Ryan Fitzpatrick will start in preseason opener

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are in a bit of a precarious position to start the season with starting quarterback Jameis Winston out of the lineup for the first three regular season games due to a suspension because of his involvement in an alleged groping of a female uber driver.

His backup Ryan Fitzpatrick is in line to be the starter to begin the 2018 campaign. With that in mind, the 35-year-old is expected to get the start in Thursday’s preseason opener against the Miami Dolphins, according to Rick Stroud of The Tampa Bay Times.

Fitzpatrick has an opportunity to continue to build on the connection as he established with his receiving options ahead of the start of the 2018 season against live action. He briefly played with them last season when Winston was out of the lineup with a shoulder injury, but this is a chance to strengthen the bond that he has further developed this offseason and through training camp.

The Buccaneers continue to voice confidence that Fitzpatrick can step in to be a feasible option under center for the team through the first three games. He made three starts last year, holding a 2-1 record while completing 58 percent of his passes along with seven touchdown passes and three interceptions in six total appearances. He already has an understanding of the offensive system in place and could help lead Tampa Bay to success, but the task will be difficult against the likes of three formidable playoff teams from last season in the New Orleans Saints, Philadelphia Eagles, and Pittsburgh Steelers.